Sokoto’s Pragmatic Efforts To Boost Power Supply In Rural Communities | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Sokoto’s Pragmatic Efforts To Boost Power Supply In Rural Communities

Posted: Jun 3, 2015 at 2:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Aminu Ahmed  –  Mohammed


From time immemorial, man has been using innovative methods to generate power because of the intervening role of energy in all human activities. 

Sources of energy include water, wind, sun and fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.

Advanced energy sources in the contemporary energy mix include waves and tides as well as atomic fusion (nuclear energy).

There is no gainsaying the fact that governments across the world strive, within their idiosyncratic abilities, to provide the energy needs of their citizens.

Nowadays, the global trend in power-generation activities, however, indicates a high level of private sector participation and Nigeria is not left out in the present-day arrangement.

The government of Sokoto State has been making pragmatic efforts to bolster power supply to the citizens, in line with the development agenda of former Governor Aliyu Wamakko.

For instance, the N3.8 billion independent power project (IPP) of the state government, aimed at generating about 38.5 megawatts of electricity, has been completed, awaiting inauguration.

This particular project is to complement the existing power supply.

Wamakko said that the priority attention which his administration gave to the power project, among others, was justifiable because electricity supply from Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (Kaduna DISCO) to the state had been epileptic and grossly inadequate.

As part of efforts to boost power supply, the Wamakko-administration also created a specific ministry for rural development.

The former Commissioner for Rural Development, Alhaji Abdullahi Maigwandu, recently disclosed that the state government spent over N5.6 billion to provide electricity for 550 towns and villages across the state’s 23 local government areas.

Maigwandu said that the power supply programme was part of the government’s undying commitment to provide social amenities for the people of the state.

His words: “All the electrification projects have been completed and inaugurated by (former) Governor Aliyu Wamakko. The benefiting communities are now at peace with others across the state, the country and the world.

“These projects have helped in stemming rural-urban migration. The influx of youths into cities in search of menial jobs has also been drastically reduced.

“By all means, these projects will also facilitate the establishment of small-scale businesses and this will particularly boost the living standards of people in the rural areas.’’

Some of the benefiting communities of the rural electrification projects include Gidan Fati, Zoramawa, Gidan Yunfa, Gidan Biasu, Gidan Hannatu, Gidan Aguda, Gidan Umary and Bayagawa.  Others are Gidan Malam, Yaurawa, Gidan Sahel, Gidan Rini and Gidan Rini, among others.

“We will never fail in the duty that was saddled on us by the state government. These projects have, indeed, boosted the socio-economic development of the benefiting communities and the state in general’’ Maigwandu said.  “It also has a multiplier impact on efforts to curb insecurity, youth restiveness, poverty and unemployment, among others,” he added.

Judging by the comments of some residents of the benefiting communities, the power supply project has made an appreciable impact on the lives of the people. Malam Abubakar of Gidan-Karo said that the electrification of his community had made life easier for the residents.

“Most of the people have jettisoned the urge to migrate to urban towns in search of menial jobs.

“Businesses are now booming; I am gainfully engaged in a small-scale business, as I now produce ice blocks in large quantities for sale across the area,” he said.

Besides, Malama Rabi Muhammad of Gidan-Sallah said that she now produce `zobo’, a local beverage, courtesy of the electrification project in her village, adding that she earns a reasonable income from the business.

Malam Rakiya Abdullahi of Dadawa village expressed happiness that husbands in the neighbourhood now gave their wives more attention since they were no longer relocating to urban centres in search of menial jobs.

“We are quite happy about this development and our children now have more time to relate with their fathers in our respective homes,” she said.

Beyond that, most youths, who were hitherto unemployed, are now gainfully engaged due to the rural electrification projects.

“We will remain eternally grateful to Alhaji Wamakko for initiating and completing the rural power supply programme,” said Ibrahim Yusuf, a youth from Gidan Aguda. All in all, observers say that the rural electrification projects have significantly facilitated efforts to curb poverty, unemployment and other socio-economic ills in the state.

“We, however, appeal to our new Governor, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, to consolidate on the gains of the rural power supply programme, while initiating similar ones,’’ says one of the observers.